Local trust helps CMM provide affordable housing for older people

Wesley Village residents have benefited from a $31,000 distribution from the Susannah B Chapman Charitable Trust. 

The annual distributions from the trust go directly to the Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) to provide warm, affordable and secure housing for older people in the community. New Zealand is facing a growing population of homeless older people according to a 2015 Salvation Army report which estimated that by 2030 200,000 retirement-aged people won't own a home and will be unable to afford rent.

CMM is responding to the issue with the help of the late Susannah B Chapman whose generosity and compassion continues to have far-reaching effects for those who benefit from CMM's services.

The social service agency has been the recipient of distributions from the Susannah B Chapman Charitable Trust – managed and administered by Perpetual Guardian – since it was established in 1987. This year's distribution of more than $31,000 to CMM brings distributions from the trust to the agency to more than half a million dollars since 2000. 

Dave Marsh, CMM Fundraising and Communications Manager, says, "We are incredibly grateful to the late Susannah Chapman for her generosity and foresight in establishing this bequest. Her thoughtfulness has enabled CMM to make a difference in our community through gifting funds in perpetuity for the purpose of providing homes for older people."

CMM will put this year's distribution of funds towards Wesley Village in Papanui. Wesley Village is solely owned and operated by CMM and consists of its residential care facility WesleyCare, affordable housing for older people without assets and independent rental living for those wishing to live independently, but want the security of a rest home and hospital close by.

"CMM is one of the few aged care providers that provide rental accommodation as most retirement villages offer units and apartments on a license to occupy (LTO) basis. However, an increasing number of older people cannot afford the asking price for LTO units and apartments so they must continue to rent," says Mr Marsh.

WesleyCare offers the best in rest home, hospital, palliative and respite level care and has recently undergone an extensive two stage redevelopment project. It now boasts 16 rest home rooms, 111 hospital rooms and a dedicated palliative care studio. Funds from the Susannah B Chapman Charitable Trust have been applied to the redevelopment, as well as the on-going provision of high quality care and support given to residents.

Perpetual Guardian Client Manager Kate Palmer, who is based in the company's Christchurch office, says the Susannah B Chapman Charitable Trust illustrates the far-reaching benefits of philanthropy that operates under a good structure and management.

"Susannah Chapman's contribution is providing wonderful returns years after her life, directly to people in the Christchurch region, which I believe would have pleased her greatly. And this year's distribution is indicative of a thriving charitable trust sector. In 2016, this translated to approximately $25 million invested in the community through Perpetual Guardian managed grants and scholarships."